In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County as "The Literary Capital of Alabama" in honor of Monroeville native Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird, and her childhood friend Truman Capote, author of In Cold Blood, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Grass Harp, and others. Monroeville is also home to Mark Childress, best-selling author of Crazy in Alabama, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Cynthia Tucker, and many others.
Monroeville is located in south Alabama between Montgomery and Mobile and serves as the county seat of Monroe County. The city was named for Monroe County, previously named in honor of President James Monroe. Today, Monroeville is considered the "Literary Capital of Alabama" because it has been home to literary giants Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Monroeville has a mayor-council form of government consisting of an elected mayor and nine council members.
Monroeville gained the distinction of "Literary Capital of Alabama" by proclamation of the State Legislature in 1997 because of the literary
greats who have called it "home".
Pulitzer prize-winning author Harper Lee was born in Monroeville and it is this city which inspired her Pulitzer prize-winning work, "To Kill A Mockingbird." Each year in May, a two-act play adaptation of the novel by Christopher Sergel is presented at Monroeville's Old Courthouse. For ticket information, contact Monroe County Heritage Museums.
Monroeville is also the childhood home of Truman Capote, author of such classics as "In Cold Blood" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Capote's best-loved sentimental stories such as "A Christmas Memory" and "The Grass Harp" were inspired by his early life in Monroeville.
Contemporary author Mark Childress, who has gained acclaim for such works as "Tender" and "Crazy in Alabama" is also a native of Monroeville. These and other writers were inspired by their Monroe County roots and their work continues to draw thousands here each year to tap into an atmosphere of warmth and creativity.
Each year, Alabama Southern Community College is the site of the Alabama Writers' Symposium, a three-day celebration and exploration of the creation and study of literature.
Monroeville's Old Courthouse, with its distinctive architecture, is one of the most photographed historic buildings in Alabama. Visitors from throughout the world marvel at its stately courtroom upstairs with its deep-set windows, majestic upper-floor balcony railings and punched-tin ceiling tiles accented with a dogwood pattern. At the building's pinnacle is its domed clock tower, which stands as a symbol for the city and county.
On the south lawn of the Old Courthouse stands a monument to "Atticus Finch", fictional hero of "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Monroeville native Harper Lee. The monument was erected in 1997 by the Alabama Bar Association as the first commemorative Legal Milestone in the state's judicial history. The fictional character was chosen because he stands as a role model for those committed to equal justice for all.